Memorial Day

May 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Holidays & Special Events

Memorial Day -Remembering Those Who Gave Their Lives

Often we think only of Memorial day as a three day weekend and a time for cookouts and parties. But we have many people to thank for the freedom to have those cookouts and parties.  Many, many people gave their lives in order for us to have our freedom.

We were driving to meet some family for dinner tonight. As we drove through Westerville, Ohio we saw this awesome flag display.

Memorial Day Tribute

I didn’t have my good camera with me, and I had to have some  pics. I took these pictures with my phone.

Memorial Day Tribute

Dave stopped by one of the tables that were set up and asked about them.

Memorial day Flags

There were 2,500 flags set up. You could purchase one of the flags for $30 and dedicate the flag to someone that has passed and was very special in your life. It doesn’t have to be a veteran (although I think most of them were), they also suggested a policeman or fireman.  They would print out a card with that person’s name and your message on a blue card and attach it to the flag pole.  Then tomorrow evening you can come back and pick up your flag.

If we had been able to get back to that area of town tomorrow, I’m sure we would have gotten one for my husband’s father.

They also had a 911 tribute.  The luminaries were attached to a generator and I bet it looked really awesome at night.

911 tribute

When I saw the sign and realized what this was about, I had to fight back tears. I don’t know anyone personally that was killed, but anytime I think about it and the terror that those involved went through…. the pain, the fear, the death for so many… it is almost overwhelming to me.

911 luminaries

With my boys (Joe on the left, Drew on the right) in the Army now, Memorial Day means even more. Knowing they are serving our country… I couldn’t be prouder. Their cousin Matt is in the center. He is a veteran also. He was in Iraq serving as a medic. He saw and has dealt with so much. He still wears a black metal bracelet that has Matthew Holley’s name and date of death on his arm … for the last six years.  My nephew Matt posted about it on Facebook and Matthew Holley’s father responded his gratitude back on Facebook.  I then looked at John Holley’s FB page (I’m not friends with him, so could only see a couple pictures) but realized that they have a book coming out soon about their son and his story. If I can find out more information about the book, I’ll let you know.

memorial day

Please think of someone who served or is serving and thank them (if possible) tomorrow. See a vet, shake their hand and say thank you. My son will be traveling home tomorrow. I was so impressed and proud of so many people who would see him in his uniform when were at the airport and thank him. My boys have had their meals paid for when they were out. People do appreciate those serving. It is a very cool thing.

Don’t forget!

This post was originally posted Memorial Day 2011

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Odwalla and Champions for Kids Fighting Hunger in the Summer

Odwalla + Champions For Kids Simple Service Project

by Amy Trauntvein

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®, Odwalla, and Champions for Kids.  However, all opinions are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric #Odwalla4Kids

Too many kids (and families) are hungry in America.  When school is out for the summer, many children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and after-school snacks they receive during the regular school year.  Low-income families with children face even more challenges during the summer when they stretch their food budget to provide additional meals for their children.
Odwalla has teamed up with Champions For Kids to help fight hunger in the summer campaign.  My family was recently asked to help in the fight against hunger by purchasing Odwalla nutrition bars at Walmart and donating them to our Local Food Pantry.  We were able to purchase over 50 bars!
Odwalla Simple Servie Project

These wholesome snack bars taste great and are an easy way to fill kids’ hungry bellies while giving them the nutrition they need.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

Along with the Odwalla bars, we donated  several other food & non-food items that we had in surplus at our home.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

With the couponing I do, I also have plenty of non-food items that I purchase for donations and since our local food pantry also accepts these things, we gathered them up as well.  If someone doesn’t have to buy shampoo, soap or other toiletries, then they can have more money to purchase food for their families.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

Here are our donations packed up and ready to be given to those in need.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

 

Odwalla Simple Service Project

When I arrived at our Community Food Pantry, I noticed how empty their shelves were.

Odwalla Simple Service Project

After talking with Ruth, the coordinator, and Angela, her assistant, they said that the need keeps rising and also with summer coming, the need will be even greater with kids not getting school breakfasts and lunches.  This small pantry helped over 129 families in April and are tracking to help even more this month.  They receive no funding or government assistance, they only rely on the goodness and generosity of the community.

Angela and Ruth of the Johnstown Community Food Pantry

Odwalla Simple Service Project

Ways YOU Can Help! -by Champions For Kids Simple Service Project

GATHER your friends, family and co-workers to fight hunger in the summer by hosting a food drive in your community.  Nutritious snacks like Odwalla Kids Bars and Juice Boxes would be great to give!  Consider giving out prizes to the person who donates the most food at you office or community organization!

LEARN about the needs of children in your community by asking a food pantry volunteer, school nurse, or social worker to talk with your group about their experiences.

GIVE the food items that you collect to a food bank in your community so that children and families will have enough to eat this summer.

SHARE your story with us at www.championsforkids.org/share so that we can celebrate your participation!  How many people were involved, and how many items did you collect?  Please let us know that you are ONE of Millions who helped reach our goal to mobilize 20 Million people by 2020 to become Champions For Kids!

Be sure to check out Odwalla on Facebook, Twitter and Odwalla.com!

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Spicy Southwest 5 Cheese Dip with Kraft #FreshTake

May 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Amy, Blog, Food, Sales, Shopping, Stores

If You Like A Spicy Kick, You’ve Got To Try This Dip!

By Amy Trauntvein

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Kraft Foods #FreshTake #cbias #SocialFabric. All opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.

My family loves Mexican food and spicy South-of-the-border flavors so when Kraft Foods asked me to create a new recipe using one of their Fresh Take flavors, I knew which one I wanted to try and what recipe I would make.  Spicy Southwest 5 Cheese Dip using Kraft Fresh Take Southwest 3 Cheese.

Kraft Fresh Take

I took the kids to Walmart to find the Kraft Fresh Take and a few other ingredients.  It was easily found among the cheeses in the Deli Section and had a variety of flavors to choose from.  Also, if you go to the Meat Department, there will be and IRC (immediately redeemable coupon) stuck on packages of chicken.  The coupon takes off $1 for one package of chicken when purchased with Fresh Take.  The coupons will run until 7/31/13.

Kraft Fresh Take

I love Kraft Fresh Take and have been using it to make some pretty tasty dinners lately.  It’s easy to use and the cheeses and spices are a perfect compliment with chicken no matter what flavor packet you buy.  Since I’ve enjoyed the Fresh Takes flavors, I knew adding it to a dip recipe would turn it from “It was alright” to “Wow, how did you make this? I need your recipe!”  Just look at the yumminess on the package, and it already contains 3 of the 5 cheeses for my dip recipe!  How easy it that?

Kraft Fresh Take

Now back home for the creation of the spicy, cheesy, ooey gooey goodness!

Recipe for Spicy Southwest 5 Cheese Dip

  • 1 Package Kraft Fresh Take Southwest 3 Cheese Flavor
  • 1 8 oz Package Kraft Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Kraft Mayo
  • 1 cup shredded Kraft Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1 Jalapeno chopped finely with seeds removed.

If you like things really spicy, use 2 peppers.  Go ahead, I dare ya!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut Jalapeno in half and scrape out seeds. Chop finely.

Kraft Fresh Take

Warm cream cheese in in microwave until soft.  Add mayo, monterey jack cheese and jalapeno.  Open package of Fresh Take and mix the cheeses and breadcrumbs together.  Reserve 1/2 cup of Fresh Take for Topping, and add the rest of the Fresh Take to the other ingredients.  Mix well.  If mixture seems a bit dry, add more mayo by tablespoons until mixture looks nice and creamy.  I just mixed it all in the actual baking dish (to save me from dirtying another bowl).  Once mixed well, smooth out the top.

Kraft Fresh Take

Toss into oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Pull out and stir.  Now add the reserved 1/2 cup of Fresh take to the top and toss back into oven for another 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Kraft Fresh Take
Serve with chips or crackers of your choosing.  I liked mine with Pita Chips for their “heftiness”.  This cheesy, hot and gooey dip is a perfect compliment to any Mexican, Tex Mex or Southwestern meal, or a perfect appetizer to your next party.  Your guests will beg you on bended knees for the recipe!  I mean, how can anyone go wrong  with 5 cheeses???  Yep, it’s a winner!  And Thanks to Kraft Fresh Take for taking it to the next level of yumminess!

Kraft Fresh Take

Watch for the Kraft Possibilities Tour truck which will be making stops across the country to the end of July.  To see if they are making a spot in your town, you can check their website Fresh Take Possibilities Tour.

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

 

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Racor Wall Bike Stand Review

The Racor Bike Stand Is As Easy as 1-2-3!

By Amy Trauntvein

Organization in my garage is not a strong suit of mine.  It’s a place where everything gets put that either doesn’t belong in the house, or doesn’t fit!  I AM able to park my van in it so that’s a plus for me, but frankly the rest could use a little help.  Especially with bigger items, such as bikes.  That’s where Racor Home Storage Products come in.  Racor sent me one of their Wall Bike Stands ($59.99) to review.

Wall Bike Stand

Sweet!  Being a family of 6, we have a few bikes and they take up a good amount of floor space in my garage that I definitely could use more of!

Wall Bike Stand

So last Saturday I employed my husband to put it together and get a couple of these bikes up and out of the way, AND I timed him to see just how long it would take him to get the job done!  He started at 4:17pm

1. Open the box and put the parts together…

Wall Bike Stand

2. Set in place and screw it to the wall…

Wall Bike Stand

 

Wall Bike Stand

3. Adjust hangers and hang up bikes. Done!  Ending time 4:34pm – 17 minutes!  That’s how fast and easy it is to set up the Racor Wall Bike Stand and gain some much needed space in your garage.  I might add, he wasn’t trying to hurry either.

Wall Bike Stand

I was quite impressed with the Racor Wall Bike Stand.  Not only did it go up easily and quickly but it’s strong too!

The Racor Wall Bike Stand

  • Holds 2 bikes
  • Direct mounted to a wall stud
  • Independent adjustment arms for level bike storage
  • Red cradles are vinyl-coated to protects the bikes
  • Steel construction epoxy finish and skid-free rubber guards to protect the floor.
  • Weight limit of 100 pounds

Thank you Racor Storage Solutions!  I love the Bike stand and the extra room in my garage! Check out their website, they carry many more storage ideas and solutions that could be perfect for your organizational needs.

Wall Bike Stand

*Although I was compensated with the product for review, all opinions are honest and my own.

Love To All!  ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Colorful Street Nails with Sally Hansen

Getting The Popular “Street Look” With Your Nails Is Easy With Sally Hansen!

by Amy Trauntvein

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and COTY. All opinions are my own. #cbias #SocialFabric.  All opinions are my own.

Street Nails w/#SallyHansen

It’s spring and with the wonderful warm weather, it’s time to break out the bright colors of our wardrobes, and that includes our nail color!  Right now I’m seeing a big trend in “Street Look” nails.  Lots of bright colors and funky designs.  So much fun to create and the possibilities are endless!  I was given the opportunity by Sally Hansen to create one of these trending looks for the season and I couldn’t wait to get started! But first we needed to find some inspiration…

We loved the this black and white design with a pop of color on the bottom left. (Source-Pinterest)

Street Nails

We also love this Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real nail Polish Strips with the black and white geometric designs.

Sally Hansen

I grabbed my teenage daughter and we headed over to Walgreens with my new Balance Reward Card.  Look how fun this display is! Love all the bright colors for spring and fabulous ideas right on the display! #IHeartMyNailArt

 

Sally Hansen Street Nails

Walgreens has some great sales going on right now for Sally Hansen products.  Xtreme, Salon Effects, Diamond and Insta-Dri polishes are $1 off, Magnetic and Crackle Polishes are $5.99 and Complete Salon Manicure Polish on sale 2/$10.  All prices good through 5/25.

First we put a base coat of each color on and let dry.  I let my daughter pick out the colors she wanted for her nails.  Here are some more awesome color choices Pop Art and Off The Chain.

Sally Hansen

Next, we applied the Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips making sure we applied them 1/4 the way up the nail bed so the base color showed.  Just follow the easy directions on the package for application.

Sally Hansen

We then painted thin strips of the same base coat colors on top of the nail polish strips.  We used a thin paint brush and cleaned it in between colors. Two different colors per nail.

Sally Hansen Street Nails

And finally we sealed the nail art with Sally Hansen No Chip Top Coat to extend the life of the manicure and prevent chipping.

Sally Hansen Street Nails

The final Product!  She LOVES her new “Street Nails” and so do all of her friends!

Street Nails w/#SallyHansen

Don’t let the fun stop here, head on over to the Sally Hansen Pinterest Party going on right now!  One winner will receive a year supply of Sally Hansen Products!

Be sure to check out Sally Hansen on Facebook too for more sweet nail art ideas and products!

#IHeartMyNailArt

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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